Rooftop solar installs head for more than 3.5GW in 2021 after record start to year

Australia’s rooftop solar market is well and truly back in business, charting its second-best month – ever – for February 2021 and setting a cracking pace for installations that is already 27% ahead of the same time last year.

The latest data from industry analysts SunWiz shows a total of 285MW was installed by Australian homes and businesses over the month of February, as the industry snaps back into gear after a well-earned slow-down in January.


Capacity installed each month, nationally

“The market starts with 28% higher registered volume in the first two months of the year compared to 2020,” said SunWiz managing director Warwick Johnston in his lately monthly report. “If this trend holds, 2021 will see larger capacity installed than 2020.”

Australia had a record year in 2020, adding nearly 3,000MW of rooftop solar (below 100kW) over the 12 months, despite – and in some cases because of – the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. A 28 per cent rise increase over the year would deliver more than 3.7GW over 2021.

SunWiz reports that the February rebound in registrations for solar systems sized between 0-100kW has been observed across all the states of Australia, delivering an average jump of nearly 16% on January numbers, which were down due to the holiday period.

Of the states and territories, New South Wales continues to top the charts on new registrations on a month-by-month basis, in February adding 88MW of new rooftop solar capacity, compared to 71MW for Queensland and 61MW for Victoria.


States of Australian solar: Capacity installed each month


This could be partly due to the strong commercial-scale market in NSW, which continues to rise despite a downturn that appears to have set in in most of the other states and territories.

The SunWiz report notes that commercial capacity registered continued to dip in the month of February, for all capacity ranges except the 10kW-15kW segment. The growth in both 15-30kW and 30-100kW segments experienced a decrease in most of the states in January.

The average household rooftop solar system size also fell slightly, continuing on the trajectory set in January, from 8.27kW to 8.13kw in February, the report said.

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